SBD/October 22, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

UFL Suspends Remainder Of '12 Season, Plans To Complete Schedule In Spring '13

The UFL on Saturday announced that it has suspended the ‘12 season “amid mounting financial woes,” and the league plans to “return in the spring to conclude the final four games of the current schedule and then return to a fall schedule” next year, according to Joe Davidson of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Many players this season “were not paid despite repeated promises by league owners that their contracts would be honored.” Players receiving delayed payments was “a common theme last season, though players were eventually paid.” The UFL “insists it can work and that it will pay its athletes" (SACBEE.com, 10/20). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Michael David Smith reported the UFL has told players that they “will be paid for the games they've already played, and that if they don’t live in the city where they've been playing, they’ll be given money to fly home” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 10/20). In Omaha, Steven Pivovar wrote, "Saturday’s development hardly came as a surprise." The UFL "lost $120 million in its first three years of operation, and its fourth season seemed almost doomed from the start." The league "also saw its 2011 season come to a premature end as it canceled the final two games of a planned six-game season." The UFL's statement on Saturday was "one of the few issued this year by a league that has no commissioner or central office." Mountain Lions Owner Paul Pelosi "cited the high cost of obtaining workers’ compensation insurance as a reason for the league’s 2012 financial problems." In addition to salaries, the UFL "pays to house and feed players, coaches and staff members" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 10/21).

IT'S PERSONAL: SI.com's Peter King reported Las Vegas Locomotives President & head coach Jim Fassel "paid $30,000 out of his pocket to place ads for the current season." Fassel said, "It's really disappointing. I've poured so much of myself into this league. I put four years of my life into it. It's not about the quality of play on the field. ... It's the business model. It's the funding. If they weren't sure we had the funding, why'd we start the season?'' (SI.com, 10/21). Fassel said, "We have no marketing money. You can have the best hamburger stand in the state but if you don’t have money to advertise that fact, it’s hard to get people to take notice of you” (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 10/21).
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